Saturday, November 1, 2014

DIY Dynamix - Bamboozle 'em

1 small item that fits in the palm of your hand
Cones (4 or more)

  • Use the cones to set up a goal line for each team. Split your group into two teams and have them start by standing on their goal line.
  • To be the team to get the most Bamboozle Touchdowns.
How to Play:
  • Each team will stand at opposing end lines to start the game. One team will be offense to start and the other team will start as defense.
  • The offensive team starts by huddling up around the referee (facilitator). The referee will give one player the small item. This player will cup his/her hands to hide the item in his/her hands. Before the offensive players break the huddle, all players will cup their hands so that the defensive players cannot tell who has the item.
  • On “Go!”, both teams run towards the opposite end line. The defensive players are trying to tag the offensive players.
  • Once an offensive player is tagged they must stop and show if they have the item or not.
  • A touchdown is scored if the offensive team gets the item all the way across the opposite end line without that player being tagged.  
  • Switch roles after each round and repeat.
  • Tagged offensive players must stop and show if they have the item or not.
  • If they have the item, the round is over.
Possible Discussion Questions:
  • What was your team’s strategy for getting the object across the finish line?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DIY Dynamix - Circle Tag


  • Have everyone stand in a big circle, arms-length apart. They should not be holding hands from the start, but they should be at a distance at which it is possible to do so.
  • For the Chaser to tag the Escaper or the Escaper to close all hands in the circle.
How to Play:
  • Choose one player to stand inside the circle. This person will be known as the “Escaper.” Choose one player to stand outside the circle. This person will be known as the “Chaser.”
  • On “Go!” the Chaser will need to try to tag the Escaper. Both players can run inside or outside of the circle.
  • Any time the Escaper runs between two players in the circle, those players must hold hands to close that opening (“shut the door”). The Escaper’s goal is to close all the openings before the Chaser tags him.
  • It is important that the players forming the circle grab hands as quickly as possible after the Escaper runs between them so that the Chaser cannot make it through the same hole.
  • The game is over when either:
·         The Chaser tags the Escaper.
·         The Escaper closes all hands of the circle.
  • Assign a new Chaser and Escaper after each round and continue playing for as long as time permits.
  • When an Escaper runs between two players in the circle, they must hold hands right away.
  • The Chaser or Escaper can’t run through closed “doors” (two people holding hands).
Possible Discussion Questions:

  • What was your strategy as an Escaper/Chaser?
  • How did you show team spirit during this challenge?

Monday, September 1, 2014

DIY Dynamix - Hog Call


  • Start with everyone in a circle. Pick 2 - 4 different animals and whisper one animal in the ear of each participant.
  • To find everyone with the same animal that you are assigned.
How to Play:
  • On “Go!”, each player has to find ALL the players who were assigned the same animal as him/her.
  • The catch is that you are only allowed to communicate and act like you are that animal. For example, if someone is assigned “dog”, they can walk around barking like a dog to find his/her group. 
  • No talking, only communicating as though you are the animal that you are assigned to.
  • Give some people animals that won’t match with others to lead to conversations about inclusivity.
Possible Discussion Questions:

  • Was it easy or hard to find your matching animal group?
  • How did you communicate to find other animals?

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Monthly Challenge

Before summer winds down this August, get your sport on! Get some teams together this month and get sporty. Try a game of volleyball on the beach, or soccer at a local field. 

Share your experience with us on Facebook or in the comments below. Check back next month for another great challenge!

DIY Dynamix - Three Little Pigs


  • Divide group into teams of at least 3 people. Give each team the same amount of newspaper and tape.
  • To build a shelter that stays up when the leader blows on it.
How to Play:
  • Each team has to build a structure within the given time limit.
  • The structure must stay standing when it’s blown on by the leader (the big bad wolf!).
  • Three people must fit inside the structure.
Possible Discussion Questions:

  • What was your team’s strategy?
  • How did you work together as a team?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Effective Communication in Teams: Overcoming Obstacles to Communication

Effective Communication in Teams: Some Tips!
Overcoming Obstacles to Communication
Written By Shea Wood, M.A., CCC

            When there is a communication breakdown in a team, people often have a hard time identifying what went wrong. What contributed to the miscommunication? How can we overcome these obstacles so that we can improve our own communication and be more successful in a team?
There are many barriers to effective communication, including the sender’s inaccurate expression of the message and the receiver’s misinterpretation of the message. Sending and receiving skills have been discussed in previous posts, so here I will outline two additional obstacles and tips to overcome them.
1. Noise. Often, when we communicate, there is noise that needs to be overcome. There are different kinds of noise. Physical noise is the actual noise in our environment, like a loud truck going by, that prevents us from sending or receiving a message. There are also emotional and social sources of noise, which can be harder to overcome. When we are extremely angry, upset, or frustrated, it is difficult for us to send and receive messages effectively. This emotional noise gets in our way of actually being able to phrase our communication appropriately and listen to what another person is saying. In addition, our perspective, attitude, and assumptions influence how we send and receive messages, and we may not even be aware of these social sources of noise. If I expect a teammate to be rude to me, because this has happened in the past, we may interpret his or her message as rude or negative even if this is not the sender’s intention.
Tip 1: Be aware of the noise! Being aware of the noise that is present, and that may be contributing to miscommunication, is the first step. Stop and think about how your emotions and your own expectations are influencing your ability to effectively send or receive a message.
1      2. Trust. The amount of trust that exists in relationships with our teammates influences how effective our communication is. When there is a lack of trust, the sender reduces the amount of information s/he shares and may not provide a clear and detailed message that is required to effectively communicate an idea. If the receiver does not have a functional level of trust with the sender, s/he may be suspicious of the information being communicated and may not believe that the sender is credible. This lack of trust leads to a breakdown in communication, and it is very difficult for a team to work together in the absence of trust or effective communication.
Tip 2: Build trust in teams! Take the time to get to know one another, share personal thoughts and feelings appropriately, and work on small cooperative tasks. This can help a team to develop trust in the early stages of forming, and lead to more effective communication moving forward.

For more information on effective communication, see Johnson (2014). 

Reference: Johnson, D. W. (2014). Reaching out: Interpersonal effectiveness and self-actualization (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DIY Dynamix - Don't Let it Drop

1 Balloon per team (or Water Balloons)

  • Create teams of 6 - 8 players. Each team gets a balloon and a marker.
  • To keep the balloon in the air, while following a set of rules.
How to Play:
  • Each team gets a balloon that they need to keep up in the air by following a set of rules.
  • If the balloon falls, the team has to carefully write a keyword on the balloon for something they need to do better. For example, “communicate” or “focus”. (If using water balloons, use a piece of paper instead). Once the team writes a word, they can start over and try again.
  • Play as many rounds as time permits or set a time limit and see how many times each team can complete the challenge.
  • The same person can’t touch the balloon twice in a row.
  • Everyone on the team must touch the balloon at least once.
  • If older: can’t use arms or hands to keep the balloon up.
  • If any of the rules are broken, the team needs to write a keyword on the balloon about what the team needs to improve on, and then start over. 
  • To increase difficulty and have extra fun in the summer, use water balloons instead of regular balloons! Use two hands and gently pass for this variation.
  • Don’t stop in between rounds and see how long a team can keep the balloon up by continuously following the rule pattern.
  • Try the game with larger teams for an added challenge.
Possible Discussion Questions:

  • Was this challenge frustrating? Why/why not.
  • Why was it important to communicate during this challenge?